Characterization of Intestinal Dendritic Cells in Murine Norovirus Infection

Xiuxu Chen, Daniel Leach, Desiré A. Hunter, Daniel Sanfelippo, Erika J. Buell, Sarah J. Zemple, Mitchell H. Grayson*
Medical College of Wisconsin, MFRC Room 5064, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.

© 2011 Chen et al;

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Medical College of Wisconsin, MFRC Room 5064, 8701 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA; Tel: 414-456-5648; Fax: 414-456-6323; E-mail:


We have shown that respiratory viral infections drive allergic disease through dendritic cells, whether gastrointestinal viruses induce allergies are not known. Norovirus infections are a major cause of gastroenteritis in humans. We used murine norovirus (MNV) to explore the effect of MNV infection on gastrointestinal conventional DCs (cDCs) and plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs). MNV infection induced disparate effects on cDCs and pDCs in lymphoid tissues of the small intestine and draining mesenteric lymph nodes. FcεRI was transiently expressed on lamina propria cDCs, but not on pDCs. In addition, feeding ovalbumin during the viral infection led to a modest, brief induction of anti-ovalbumin IgE. Together, these data suggest that like with a respiratory viral infection, an intestinal viral infection may be sufficient to induce changes in DCs and the generation of food-specific IgE. Whether this represents a novel mechanism of food allergy remains to be determined.

Keywords: Allergy, Dendritic Cells, Gastrointestinal Infection, IgE, Immune Response, Norovirus, Virus.